Having already smashed Download a few weeks ago, UK favourite Jamie Lenman looks to have a busy Summer ahead of him with a stack of festival appearances lined-up. We grabbed Jamie for a quick chat while we had the chance to talk all things festivals.
What can fans expect from your set at ArcTanGent? Jamie Lenman: Big riffs, big choruses, bags of energy. Maybe a cheeky cover, who knows?
What are you expecting from the festival as a whole? Will you be checking out other bands? Jamie Lenman: I’m expecting a great vibe, like they had back in 2014 when I was last there. You can bet your ass I’ll be checking out Glassjaw, but also my good pals Arcane Roots and Vennart, as well as people like Bossk who I dig but aren’t my personal friends. Yet!
What has been your favourite festival story as a band? Jamie Lenman: Back when I was in my band and we were just tiny teenagers, we played our first festival and there was no food laid on, just a huge tent full of beer for all the acts playing. We were broke and starving so I took a six pack to one of the burger stands and traded it for some dinner. Then I did the same thing at the candy floss machine, the popcorn guy, everybody! I don’t drink but apparently most folks value beer above pretty much everything else.
Do you have any festival horror stories? Jamie Lenman: Last time we played Download we were doing a thing where Dan the drummer comes on first and does a big old drum roll through all this feedback, and then eventually I count four and the rest of the band crashes in – except my guitar lead was broken and no sound came out so he had to play that drum roll for a good five minutes before we could get it working and start the song! I remember looking at him and just shrugging as the sweat rolled down his face. He certainly earned his money that day. All fifty pence of it!
Check out Jamie's new video for "Irrelevant"
What about as a punter? Any good stories you can tell us? Jamie Lenman: I don’t really go to festivals as a punter, I’m always working. I think I went to Reading one year as an audience member but it was rubbish and I ended up in a fight with my girlfriend so no bantz I’m afraid.
What five items are essential in your festival backpack? Jamie Lenman: Oh my God … toilet paper. Sun cream, plastic mac, copy of Moby Dick and more toilet paper.
What tips would you give someone attending their first festival this summer? Jamie Lenman: I’d say maybe pick one or two essential bands that you simply cannot miss and then for the rest of the thing don’t get too concerned with who’s on when and looking at your watch. Just walk about, poke your head into various tents and follow the sounds, whatever appeals. Festivals should be about finding new discoveries as much as revisiting old favourites.
If you could get anyone to get up on stage and guest with you on a song, who would it be and which song would you play? Jamie Lenman: I’d maybe get Daryl Palumbo to come up and sing "Tonight My Wife Is Your Wife" with me, a really old song that I basically wrote as the ultimate Glassjaw rip-off. Then we’d really see what I’m made of. I always wanted to get Karl Middleton from Earthtone 9 up with the old band to sing the song he recorded with us – we were all at Buk And Skit one year and I asked him about it but he’d forgotten the lyrics. Fair dos.
What differences are there between UK and European festivals? Jamie Lenman: The accents, I guess? I don’t really know, I’ve never been to any festivals in Europe! I’ll be finding out in September, though, when I go to play the Reeperbahn in Hamburg.
Finally, do you have any other festivals lined-up this summer? Jamie Lenman: Yep tons – 2000 Trees, Tramlines in Sheffield, Rocked Up in Corby, plus Reeperbahn in Hamburg and a couple of other bits here and there – it’s gonna be busy!
Check out this video of Jamie performing at Download back in 2007